By Simon Peach, PA
Jacksonville Jaguars great Maurice Jones-Drew is excited for Sunday’s all-Florida clash in the capital as his former side and the Miami Dolphins look to kickstart their seasons.
A week after the Atlanta Falcons held off a late New York Jets comeback, fans will again pack into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the NFL London Games doubleheader comes to a conclusion.
Both teams will be hoping that swapping the Florida sunshine for an autumnal afternoon on the Tottenham High Road brings about an uptick in fortunes after challenging starts to the season.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is set to return from injury as the Dolphins look to add to their solitary win in a season that has started with five straight losses for the Trevor Lawrence-led Jags.
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) October 14, 2021
“I think it’s a good match-up,” Jaguars great Jones-Drew told the PA news agency.
“I thought the Dolphins played really well last year, and now they’re trying to kind of find their identity. I think the Jags are in the same way.
“As the Dolphins are getting healthier with getting Tua back and the Jags are starting to kind of hit their stride a little bit with Trevor offensively, so it’s exciting to kind of see these two teams who are improving and getting better how they’ll be.”
Asked if a win in London can kickstart the campaign, Jones-Drew said: “Oh, no question.
— Maurice Jones-Drew (@MJD) April 19, 2019
“A win any week can but especially this one – still early in the year, especially with the added game.
“It’s one of those things where you can get on a run here. You get a win, you get a win next week and then you’re on a run.
“Once you start winning, things just start happening for you so hopefully they figure it out and they can keep it going.”
The Jags are in particular need of a win at a time when pressure is mounting on recently-appointed head coach Urban Meyer, with poor on-field performances scrutiny compounded by a recent incident off it.
But in quarterback Lawrence – the first pick in the 2021 draft – they have a potential star and one desperate to celebrate his first NFL victory.
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) July 5, 2021
“When you’re the number one pick, you’re going to a bad team,” said Jones-Drew, who played for the Jags between 2006 and 2013. “That’s what happens, right? You have to build.
“If you look at Peyton Manning when he went to the Colts they were horrible.
“Then over the next couple of years, they start drafting guys – first round receivers, first round tight ends, first round running backs, first round offensive linesmen that protected him and helped him be better. That’s what you do.
“I think with Trevor that’s what they did, so you just want to keep going.
“We want to keep building around him and helping him be better and keep the same offensive coaches around him so he’s hearing the same voice consistently.
“With all that being said, he has ability, he has the pieces but it’s now on this organisation to continue building around him and help them out. The more they do that, the better they’ll be.”
:: Watch Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins at the NFL London Games live from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this Sunday, 17th October on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and NFL Game Pass from 2PM, listen on Talksport and catch highlights on Sky Sports NFL.